Archives For February 2004

the art of storytelling

February 23, 2004 — Leave a comment

i like stories. i`m a sucker of a good story of any kind, on paper, on film, online, but my favourite is, the oral tradition. listening to someone weave a tale. i met vic`s father before he died and he was one of the best, i spent a day just listening to him. he was pure genius.

in society`s fixation with remaining young we seem to have lost the joy of listening to our elders, not only that our elders seem to have forgotten part of their duty is to pass on the stories, their stories.

i grew up by myself in the company of my mother ie, wherever she went i went most of the time and in the era of children should be seen and no heard, i would sit quietly while the adults talked or after a time i would go with a book so i could keep myself occupied. but sometimes they would see me sitting there staring off into space and tell me a tale about where we were, about them growing up, the furniture in the house, anything, but it was a tale.

you don`t see or hear that anymore. very rarely do parents tell children stories before bed and if they do it tends to be popular fiction read from a book. i`m not knocking that, but i think sometimes it just fun to make something up or pass on a story you`ve heard.

i believe there is one source for all our tales. one of my things; it`s not a hobby cause i don`t actively go out and do it, it`s just something that fascinates me; is collecting fables. i have a batch of links with a lot of myths and fables, i have a couple collections in my physically library as well. there are common themes in all the cultures` myths i`ve read. flood tales, tricksters, heroes and their travails, they all exist in some form or fashion.

once it`s a good story i`m drawn in. this morning i was watching a movie, it was in chinese and i was getting ready for work so i wasn`t paying complete attention to it but i could pick up the threads of the tale because of how well it was told.

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i reread what i`d written about 5 times and i wasn`t at all happy with it. there was no way to tell the tale of that carnival without including all the sordid details.

carnival is an interesting time in trinidad. all the wining and the semi-naked bodies may seem sexual but up until fairly recently it wasn`t. a wine was a wine and at the end of the night you said your farewells and went on your way. it wasn`t assumed because someone wined with you that there was going to be sexual congress.

things have changed a great deal in the last six years, the behaviour is more lascivious and wanton. and that`s kind of scary, the innocence of carnival, per se, as with almost everything in day to day trini life seem to be drifting away.

i can`t say i`ve heard much of the music this year, so i`m in no position to judge. the thing i`m missing most about this carnival is j`ouvert. the official beginning of the two days of revelry.

i`ve been involved in various aspects of carnival, from building costumes to playing mas on the two days, to documenting the spectacle. i don`t miss the two days much but j`ouvert has an energy and feel to it that surmises the whole season for me.

in 2002, when i was working at the newspaper i was rostered to work carnival monday morning. i told them i would come in, but i was coming straight from j`ouvert. they thought i was joking.

i wasn`t, that`s been my condition every j`ouvert morning since 1993. the colours may have changed by not much else. i worked my shift then went home, had a shower and slept right through until tuesday.

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wine, women and song

February 21, 2004 — Leave a comment

it`s carnival weekend in trinidad and i`m nowhere near it.

i think i miss the principle of it. yes, there have been carnivals where i did absolutely nothing and carnivals for 7 days of non-stop feteing but i don`t even have the choice.

i was in bed and asleep by 9:30 on a carnival friday, what the hell is world coming too. in a week i`ll be on a plane on my way to trinidad, time seems to just be whizzing along.

i have so much stuff to pack into what is realistically two days in trinidad. i land at 7pm or as close to it as flight delays will allow and unlike my usual airport runs, i have luggage, meaning no zipping through customs with just my knapsacks, so with luck i should be out of there by 8pm. all my friends will probably be tuckered out and broke after after carnival as well.

but this trip isn`t about friends, it`s about family. i get to see my children, my mother, my grandmother and give them some love. the time is also fortuitous for another reason, next monday is my older daughter`s birthday and i`ll be there for it, which i`m sure will fill her with great joy.

i purportedly came into the office to do some work, but it`s raining and i`m sleepy, so i`m just going to use the opportunity to suck up bandwidth, catch up on the journals and  download some stuff until the rain stops.

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my friends

February 20, 2004 — Leave a comment

Do you feel like your really close friends are similar to yourself or do you have a variety of different friends? Has the behavior of one of your friends ever influenced stranger`s opinion of you whether it be positive or negative?

well i only have a few very close friends and they all know each other and while we don`t necessarily share the same views, the thing that draws us together is the fact that we`re all open-minded and are willing to accept each other`s beliefs.

and as for the opinions of strangers?

fuck `em if they can`t a joke.

my friends are bright, funny and speak their minds. when we`re together we`re usually pretty loud, but our behaviour tends to be tempered by where we are. which is why hanging out is usually done at home or locations where we and our behaviour is know and accepted, which brings me back to the opinions of strangers.

white noise and sparkles

February 20, 2004 — Leave a comment

i can`t function in silence. at work i have my collection of music, these days i`m sharing ie my headphones remain in my desk drawer and the rest of the department gets to share in some of my eclectic tastes.

at home, well what was my home until last saturday, i had the laptop connect to the speakers and as soon as i got in i`d pick something to listen to while i unwound, didn`t really matter, it was part of my collection so i must enjoy listening to it.

honestly, i hate the tinny sound of the speakers on the laptop and since the speakers are already packed away i automatically switch on the television. it`s not about what`s on it`s background noise. that doesn`t mean there are things on tv that wont catch my attention while i`m sitting at the computer, but they tend to be commercials, if only for the execution and style. this is my field.

there are things i like to watch and channels that the television stays on, like comedy central. i`ll be the first to admit that there is a lot of shit on comedy central but they still have some of the most innovative and entertaining programming on tv; south park, insomniac, chapelle show, the daily show. plus the reruns of snl and sports night far outweigh the man show.

at the old apartment the television only came on for me to watch my regulars, kids wb on a saturday, alias on a sunday, gilmore girls on a tuesday, smallville, angel, south park and chapelle show on a wednesday and er on a thursday when i remember.

these days the television is on all the time, a virtual sea of white noise. and in the sea of white noise that is television these are the sparkles and on wednesday night the light was almost blinding. i am speaking about angel, it sad to see the series get cancelled, i was just really getting into it; trying to catch the back episodes on tnt when i could.

wednesday night`s show featured angel as a puppet. i have not laughed so much in a long time. i`ve said this before, i enjoy well written television  and from concept to execution, angel was tv at it`s best. i think there is a rerun on tnt on tuesday night at 11pm. check it out.

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must have my fix

February 19, 2004 — Leave a comment

my god, is this what withdrawal is like?

a whole day without posting, i should get accustomed.

i had all this thoughts for posts and of course being the sensible and somewhat busy do bee today, i didn`t displace any electrons and save them anywhere.

they`ve been keeping me on my toes at the office, i have an annual report to design, the first round of designs went off to the client this afternoon and the rest of the art department is finally migrating to os x and as the person with the most experience in the building, i`m answering questions and tweaking machines so they work. i`m glad to have something to do.

i`m so excited, it`s a wonder i don`t explode. a lot people in the office have commented in my radical change in demeanour. i can barely contain my happiness. in related news my books are safely on their way via dhl, which oddly was cheaper than sending by the jamaica postal service, which i was told not to trust.

my connection time is going to be limited to the office now. in a snafu of epic proportions disconnecting my phone and the associated dsl account has eliminated my dialup access, i would kick up a stink, but i`m only going to be here for another week, don`t really see the point. i could dial up using aohell, but the US$6 a minute surcharge is down right vicious, so i`m just going to continue to bring my laptop to work and email back and forth with vic all day.


February 18, 2004 — Leave a comment

i made a slight detour this morning before i came into work. i went downtown to do something for my mother.

now when i was moving to jamaica i heard all these stories about how dangerous it is, yadda, yadda, yadda. you know what, it`s no more dangerous than any other urban centre.

most jamaicans consider trinidad infinitely more dangerous. i guess it`s all a matter of perception. having seen it from both sides, i have this to say; the same way i wont go to certain places in trinidad after dark, the same principle applies here, actually anywhere i go.

trinidad and jamaica share many of the same social and economic problems to some extent, although jamaica with the recent appearance of a middle class is somewhat different model.

the majority of the problems stem from the same basic failing of the education system.

i believe that my generation is the last to wholeheartedly swallow that carrot. you know the one, study hard, get good grades and you`ll get a good job. now we have a whole generation of young people who have seen this system fail their older siblings and seen some of their peers get rich quick selling drugs or jobs just by their affiliations.

in trinidad we have a whole new class, an underclass, they are about the quick buck and because they have no value on their own, they value even less their victims. this is compounded by the drug and gang related deportees who have been living abroad most of their lives and accustomed to a certain lifestyle and do whatever they deem necessary to maintain it.

this is a caribbean problem and because of the nature of politics in the caribbean, it`s not likely to change.

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by the time i finish typing this, it will be exactly two weeks until i land in dc on my way to nashville.

as productive as i was yesterday, today, i`m just twiddling my thumbs, i can`t focus on work, i don`t even want to be in the office.

i want to be with vic, kissing her.

i want the simplest of things, really i just want to be able to fall asleep next to vic every night and get up next to her in the morning. everything else will work itself out.

and now we have a date, a time, a moment that we can begin with the simple things. mornings and evening, birthdays, holidays. doing something, sitting around doing nothing. we`ll be able to choose. there is no packing up and going `back` to anywhere, for either of us.

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February 17, 2004 — Leave a comment

Suppose you`re having what you consider an intellectual conversation with an individual that you met online and the two of you decided to exchange pics. You send the person a nicely groomed photo of yourself,but in return, they send you a nude photo of themself. What thought(s) would cross your mind? Would you continue the conversation?

why do intellectualism and sexuality have to be on divergent ends of the spectrum?

i think one leads to another, at least for me. they`re not mutually exclusive. i wouldn`t do it personally, i have body issues. there are a couple reason i would think that someone would do something like that, but it would be a generalisation and a judgement.

What is the ultimate sacrifice you`ll make for love and why? (this could be the love of a child, spouse, parent, etc.) Do you feel like you`ve already made the ultimate sacrifice what were the results

as a parent i don`t think any sacrifice is too great too make for your children. no ifs, ands or buts.

as for interpersonal relationships, well, i think, hmmm… read a few entries…